School NewsDistrict News

Six for Six: Former Graebner student is perfect when it comes to his Ivy League applications
Graebner alum awarded $2.2 million in scholarships
Utica Community Schools to host one of region’s largest student art festival March 18-20
Every grade level and school represented at annual event
Back to school Notes
Notes from Dr. Church about the new year
UCS senior receives more than $1 million college scholarship offers
Ford II senior gets offers from more than 20 colleges and universities
Math 24 tournament adds up to fun for UCS students
Academically talented and gifted students participated at fourth, fifth and sixth grade levels

From The Principal

Dear Graebner Families,

I want to take a minute to reach out to all of you with a few key points that will assist in the understanding of the online learning that will be made available next week.


Please understand that this is new learning for everyone, and it is important that everyone get comfortable with using the platform. Teachers have been working hard to develop online learning opportunities focusing on enrichment and reinforcement/review activities for all our students utilizing Schoology as the platform. This platform will be the outlet for learning opportunities and communication for the next few weeks.


We are taking a multi-phase approach, the enrichment and reinforcement/review opportunities for our students at Graebner will be made available to our 3rd- 6th grade students on Wednesday, March 25th followed by our kindergarten – 2nd grade students on Thursday, March 26th. As we begin this online learning, our focus will be on core content areas of ELA, Math, Social Studies and/or Science. (all students K-6 will start with ELA and Math doing no more than 60 minutes of online work daily and then 3-6 will also have Science and Social Studies adding no more than 30 minutes making your 3-6 grader having no more than 90 minutes total of online learning daily. Questions about any of these activities should be emailed to your child’s teacher.


I understand that everyone’s situation at home may be different. I want you to know that everything provided by the school on the last day and everything provided online is a resource so that each family can decided what is best for them. In addition to the online learning, we will provide weekly packets for families to pick up outside the science room doors for those who do not have internet at home. These packets will be available at the same time the online learning becomes available (see above) then the following week’s packets will be available K-6 on April 1st. These same packets will be available at all elementary schools. You may go to any elementary closest to you for the weekly packets.


None of the enrichment or reinforcement/review activities will be graded. This includes the packets that will be available to students that do not have a device or internet access. They are meant to help students remain focused on school and provide structure if needed. I ask all students to participate in the enrichment or reinforcement activities provided by the school. As we start our schoolwork online, I ask that you not worry about grades and instead focus on learning how to be an online learner and getting the most out of your teacher’s enrichment and reinforcement activity.


If you do not receive an email from the district following the timeline above (3-6 students Wed. 25th and K-2 students Thurs 26th), please email me at or contact our office at 586-797-5000. If you are having technical difficulties, there will be a link on the district’s website ( that you can click on for assistance.


If you are trying to navigate Schoology after utilizing the resources provided in the letter that you will receive in your email that obtains your login/password information there will be online resources at the district website ( accessed by clicking on the Online Learning Resource tab.


No matter how your family participates in enrichment, I hope you all remain healthy and safe. I look forward when we can all be back together again at Graebner. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or by calling the school and leaving a message for me and someone will respond to you.

We know that families may be anxious about what the next weeks will bring. The district posted links to helpful resources on how to cope with anxiety as well as other resources regarding the COVID 19 outbreak on the district website.


Listed below are some of the resources:





CDC: Child Mind Institute:




Jami Wood

The staff of Graebner Elementary School, within an ordered, nurturing environment, defines its mission as follows: to teach children to learn academic and social skills in a positive and cooperative manner and to enhance self esteem, so as to prepare children to become contributing, successful members of society.

The following dates have been confirmed.  As additional dates are provided, I will share them with you.

First Student Day:                   
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (Full day secondary, Half day elementary)

Thanksgiving Break:               
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 through Friday, November 29, 2019

Winter Break:                          
Monday, December 23, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020

MLK Jr Holiday:                     
Monday, January 20, 2020

Mid-Winter Break:                  
Monday, February 17, 2020 through Friday, February 21, 2020

Spring Break:                          
Monday, April 6, 2020 through Friday, April 10, 2020

Additional dates and calendar elements including but not limited to potential further closed dates, half-days, exam schedules conference windows and the end of school date continue to be considered and will be released once determined.

UCS Vision

All children have the right to a rigorous, high-quality education which meets their individual needs. UCS will respect, encourage and empower each and every student to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to be successful, contributing members of a diverse community and global society.

UCS Mission

We are committed to exemplary teaching and learning in order for our students to be prepared for success in the 21st Century.
We will achieve this commitment by engaging the entire community to focus on each child's achievement, with the expectation that every student will pursue some type of post-high school educational endeavor.

Core Values

  • Every child can learn and achieve.
  • Parents and guardians are partners in the learning process.
  • Being “smart” can be achieved through persistence, hard work and effective effort.
  • Excellence is expected and celebrated.
  • Data is used to guide our decision-making.
  • All employees will exemplify ethical behavior; exhibit a strong work ethic; and continue to develop their leadership, performance and service skills.
  • Technology supports and enhances instruction, business operations, research and communications.
  • The Board of Education, district educators/staff, parents, community members and business leaders must collaborate and work as a team to enhance educational opportunities for student success.